May 28, 2023  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Political Science, B.A.

(CIP = 45.1001) (POL)

The undergraduate program leading to the B.A. degree in political science offers a general purpose degree, and a number of more specialized alternatives. The program is designed for students interested in and seeking to understand political problems, issues, and the nature of the political process, as well as the philosophical and legal basis of political structures and processes at local, state, national, and international levels. Satisfying the degree requirements prepares students for positions in the public and private sectors, for law school, for graduate work in political science, international relations, public administration, and related disciplines, for positions in education, and for applied political activity.

State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites

Students wishing to transfer to USF should complete an A.A. degree at a Florida College System institution. Some courses required for the major may also meet General Education requirements thereby transferring maximum hours to the university.

If a student wishes to transfer without an A.A. degree and has fewer than 60 semester hours of acceptable credit, the student must meet the university’s entering freshman requirements including ACT or SAT test scores, GPA, and course requirements.

Transfer students are also required to comply with the immunization, foreign language, and continuous enrollment policies of the university.

Students should complete the following prerequisite courses at the lower level prior to entering the university. If these courses are not taken at a Florida College System institution, they must be completed before the degree is granted.

Unless stated otherwise, a grade of C- is the minimum acceptable grade in prerequisite courses.

  • POS X041 or POS XXX or INR XXXX or CPO XXXX - 3 credit hours
  • POS XXXX or INR XXXX or CPO XXXX - 3 credit hours

Total Major Hours: 36

Major Core (12 Credit Hours)

A minimum of 36 credit hours is required to satisfy the requirements of the major. Students must take the 12 credit hours of required core courses in Political Science coursework. No more than six (6) credit hours can be taken from POS 4905 , POS 4910  and POS 4941 . Students enrolled in the Washington, D.C. semester program may have this rule altered by their advisor. (A GPA of 3.0 is required to enroll in these courses; the Chair may grant special exception for students with a GPA between 2.70 and 2.99).

In addition, all Political Science majors are required to take at least three (3) credit hours of Economics coursework. (Please see an advisor for recommendations.)

Major Electives (24 Credit Hours)

Students must choose electives from the seven fields listed below with at least one course from Field I, one course from Field II or III, and one course from any of Fields IV, V, VI, or VII. Core required courses must be completed before a course from a given field or field grouping may be taken.

Elective Hours

The following courses are not included within any of the seven fields, but may still be used as elective hours:

Grading Requirement

A grade of C- or better is required in all core courses.

Residency Requirement

Students transferring credit hours toward a major in Political Science must complete a minimum of 21 credit hours within the Department, regardless of the number of credits transferred.

Other Requirements

All Political Science majors are required to take at least three (3) credit hours of Economics coursework.

Research Opportunities

All undergraduate students in any degree program can participate in undergraduate research. There are a number of options to receive academic credit for a mentored research experience and to have the experience show on the official transcript. Students who wish to enroll in an undergraduate research course should consult with their academic advisor to understand how the credit will apply towards the degree requirements. If no credit is needed, students may be eligible to enroll in the 0-credit IDS 2912 , IDS 4914  or IDH 4910  courses. These courses will not impact degree credits or GPA but will show on an official transcript and document the experience. The Office of Undergraduate Research will assist students in understanding the various course options.


Internship Opportunities

Political Science has a fieldwork program that allows students to obtain part-time internships with state and local government and with political parties at the state and local level. Academic credit is available for such internships. For further information, please refer to

Other Information

The Political Science major offers a pre-law plan designed for undergraduate students who are considering a career related to law (courses on Law and Politics are listed under Field VII of the Political Science undergraduate curriculum). The pre-law plan is available to students of all majors. The courses making up the field are of particular interest to law-oriented students but may be taken by others as well. Those following the pre-law plan are recommended to complete courses that can help them develop necessary skills to study law. Students receive the skills and information needed for entry into a number of law-related positions in business and government. Please see the departmental undergraduate advisor to obtain more information about the pre-law plan and refer to

Prior to admission to law school, a student must take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), as given by the Educational Testing Service of Princeton, New Jersey.

Students should plan to take the test at least one year prior to planned enrollment in law school. 

Advising Information

To contact an advisor you may visit or to schedule an appointment, please go to:

Political Science Faculty

Professors: J.E. Benton, E. Conteh-Morgan, A. Hechiche, J. Merrick, M.M. Milani, G. Parayil, B. Reiter; Associate Professors: K. Caruson, P. Funke, C.A. Hall, E. Kissi, D. Peng, S. Roach, C. Rodriguez, K. Simeon-Jones, M.S. Solomon, S. Tauber; Assistant Professors: A. Augsburger, H. Dunn, O. Jolaosho, M. Samnotra, D. Ponton, N. Thompson, J. Woo; Instructor: L. Lahey; Professor Emeritus: M.M. Amen, H. Nelson, S. MacManus, S. Northcutt, F.U. Ohaegbulam, D. Slider, H.E. Vanden.

Plan of Study

Click here for Plan of Study. Once on this page, select the program from the available drop-down and then click ‘View Selected Plan.’